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A patent can be "kept alive" by filing a continuation before the patent issues, and then continuing to file continuations in the same manner in a chain of applications.

Does the same hold for filing continuation-in-parts, i.e., a) application is allowed, b) I file a continuation in part with an extended specification, c) application issues, d) at a later point after issuance I file a continuation on the continuation in part that only uses the specification of the parent patent, not the extended specification.

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Yes, you can claim priority to a continuation-in-part patent application similar to a continuation application before a patent was granted.

The new matter added must not be patentability distinct as the claims would be evaluated on the patent specification.

  • The claims can certainly be patentabilty distinct from the other claims in other patents in the family. In any specific application in the family the claims must be supported by the original specification - except of course material added in a CIP. – George White Apr 9 at 16:50
  • I find CIPs rather confusing - how do they track which claims are derived from the original spec and which are new material? – Keir Finlow-Bates Apr 10 at 8:20

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